15 July, 2008
WASHINGTON – – According to The New York Times, the Bush administration plans to propose regulations to comply with federal laws to protect patients and healthcare professionals from being forced to provide controversial drugs and procedures such as abortion. The newspaper reports that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has drafted regulations “to ensure that federal money does not ‘support morally coercive or discriminatory practices or policies in violation of federal law.'” Recipients of federal health programs (such as hospitals and clinics) would have to certify that they will not refuse to hire healthcare providers who object to abortion or abortifacients (drugs or devices that can cause an early abortion). The regulation defines abortion as “any of the various procedures — including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action — that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation.”
“For over 35 years, federal laws have protected the conscientious rights of healthcare professionals, but they were not fully implemented for lack of thorough regulations to enforce them,” stated Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA). “As more controversial drugs and procedures get introduced, and additional pressure is put on healthcare providers to either compromise their moral commitments or lose their jobs, the need has become greater for regulations to catch up with the law.”
“As patients, we rely on healthcare professionals to provide ethical advice and treatments. Patients will lose trust in the healthcare field if professionals are gagged from giving ethical and well-informed advice or forced to commit procedures or provide drugs that take an innocent life. If healthcare professionals are denied the right to live out their moral beliefs, patients will suffer the consequences.” Abortion proponents reportedly oppose the proposed regulations. “Clearly, abortion advocates do not believe in the ‘right to choose’ if the choice is not to participate in abortion or provide drugs that can take the life of a human being. The regulation applies to abortion, which is clearly defined as an action that terminates a human life before or after implantation. When abortion advocates claim this regulation would discourage providing ‘contraception’ it reveals that their definition of ‘contraception’ includes drugs that would cause abortion.”
Contact: Natalie Bell, Concerned Women for America, 202-488-7000 ext. 126 Concerned Women for America is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization.